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Mike's ProfileMike has a degree in Film from The University of Texas at Austin. He has worked in the entertainment industry for the past 25 years and sees two to four new movies in the theatre a week. Mike has a weekly movie blog where he reviews films both present and past at: lastonetoleavethetheatre.blogspot.com He can be followed on Twitter @lastonetoleave
Opening this week at a theatre near you:
The Expendables 2 (2012)
Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) has assembled the Expendable team for what they think is going to be an easy mission. But they soon find that they are in over their heads and one of them loses his life. Now it’s time for the Expendables to get their revenge. The Expendables 2 website
What to Watch For: Mickey Rourke is out; he was Tool in the first The Expendables (2010). Added to the cast are action heavyweights, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis.
Word on the Street: Sylvester Stallone isn’t directing this one, but he co-wrote the script.
My Take: It’s going to be interesting to see Jean-Claude Van Damme, the Muscle from Brussels, as a villain in this film.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012)
Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton play Cindy and Jim Green; a couple that have been told by doctors that they will never get pregnant. Jim and Cindy get a little drunk, write down their wishes for the infant they never will have and bury the box in the garden. Then something magical happens, as Timothy shows up on their doorstep having been born in the garden. The Odd Life of Timothy Green website
What to Watch For: Writer/Director Peter Hedges was nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay for the 2002 film About a Boy.
Word on the Street: C. J. Adams, who plays Timothy, was in Peter Hedges’ 2007 film Dan in Real Life.
My Take: This film should do well at the box office with families who looking to get away from the big action films.
Norman isn’t an ordinary boy – he can see dead people. In fact, Norman can’t just see them, he can interact with them. He is going to need this talent to help stop a legendary curse from destroying his town. ParaNorman website
What to Watch For: This film comes from the production team who brought you Corpse Bride and Coraline, so you know the animation is going to be fun to watch and beautiful.
Word on the Street: The film may be a little too scary for the 6 year-old and under crowd but should be perfect for the 8 to 12 year olds.
My Take: Looks to be a very imaginative film that should become a Halloween staple.
Set in the 1960’s, three sisters form a Motown singing group, but fame has a heavy price and Sparkle (Jordin Sparks) is seeing her family fall apart right before her eyes. Sparkle website
What to Watch For: This is the late Whitney Houston’s last film. She was one of the executive producers of the film and she originally wanted singer Aaliyah (before her untimely death) for the title role.
Word on the Street: This is the first feature film for the America Idol winner, Jordan Sparks.
My Take: Are people going to see the film for Whitney Houston or for Jordan Sparks’ singing?
Killer Joe (2012)
Chris (Emile Hirsch) is a man who is in debt to a local mobster. When he hears that his mom has a $50,000 life insurance policy, he plans to hire Killer Joe (Matthew McConaughey), a hit man who happens to also be a police detective, to carry out the dirty deed. However, Killer Joe may want more than money to seal the deal. Killer Joe website
What to Watch For: This film, directed by the legendary Oscar winning William Friedkin, has an incredible cast with Thomas Haden Church, Gina Gershon and Juno Temple.
Word on the Street: This film may get Matthew McConaughey his first Oscar nomination.
My Take: Think of this film as more of a dark comedy rather than an action film or drama.
The Awakening (2012)
In 1921 England, Florence (Rebecca Hall) has dedicated her life to de-bunking the claims of paranormal activity. After exposing a fake séance, she is hired to investigate a ghost that is haunting a boarding school. The Awakening website
What to Watch For: Rebecca Hall has shown she can lead a film with her impressive role as Claire, the bank teller who falls in love Ben Affleck’s bank robber in 2010’s The Town.
Word on the Street: Movie audiences should be ready for a scary movie and what’s scarier than an English boarding school?
My Take: The film is produced by BBC Films and their films always have a very impressive, stylized look to them.
If you can’t make it to the theatre this weekend, stay at home and watch movies on CW69:
Desperate Measures (1998) Frank Conner (Andy Garcia) is a police officer whose son is dying and needs a bone marrow transplant. A possible donor is found, but there is a problem. The donor is Peter McCabe (Michael Keaton), a convicted murderer. Now McCabe may use the hospital as a possible way to escape.
Garden State (2004) Zach Braff stars as Andrew, a TV actor who comes back to his hometown for his mother’s funeral. Andrew must deal with his family, whom he hasn’t seen in years. He’s going to have help from his friends, including Sam (Natalie Portman) and he just might find love.
The Butterfly Effect (2004) When Evan (Ashton Kutcher) was a kid he had a pretty bad life, as he used to suffer from memory blackouts where he would suddenly find himself somewhere not knowing how he got there. Now in college, Evan discovers the diaries that he kept as a kid as the blackouts start happening again.